heretic pope


#1

Hi

Is pope honorius I a heretic pope? if thats the case,is he valid succesor to peter? how about infallability of his teaching

Please shed some light

thanks
marlo


#2

Which “teaching” are you referring to??? Thanks and God Bless.


#3

Thanks for replying

Well he is a pope…his function is to teach right?

to answer you, i think he believes that christ donot have 2 will (divine and human) instead only one will as God-Man


#4

[quote=marlo]Hi

Is pope honorius I a heretic pope? if thats the case,is he valid succesor to peter? how about infallability of his teaching

Please shed some light

thanks
marlo
[/quote]

Pope Honorius was not a heretic. He was criticised for not correcting the heretics of his day. He simply did not speak out clearly when he should have.

He was, indeed, a valid successor to Peter. Popes are human beings like all of us, and some are more outspoken than others. Not speaking out was wrong, but was not heresy.


#5

[quote=Joan M]Pope Honorius was not a heretic. He was criticised for not correcting the heretics of his day. He simply did not speak out clearly when he should have.
[/quote]

To expand on this a little, because he failed to speak out against the heresy, he was accused of being a heretic himself. Whether or not this was true (history suggests it was not), he never formally taught anything contrary to the authentic Catholic faith.


#6

[quote=marlo]Thanks for replying

Well he is a pope…his function is to teach right?

to answer you, i think he believes that christ donot have 2 will (divine and human) instead only one will as God-Man
[/quote]

Honorius words first of all were ambiguous so he did not outright preach heresy. He simply did not defend truth as he should have and that is the nature of his condemnation.

Secondly he did not bind the Church to what he said so he did not violate the definition of infallibility. His ambiguous language was in a letter to a Bishop. Not a decree for the whole Church.

There in all honesty is nothing that says that the Popes are the best theologians and will never believe error themselves. It simply says that they will not promulgate it for the whole Church. Actually that some of them were very weak and some seemly characthers in the papacy shows that it is protected by God, rather than an instituion that is able to sustain itself on the men that hold the chair of Peter.

Blessings


#7

Actually that some of them were very weak and some seemly characthers in the papacy shows that it is protected by God, rather than an instituion that is able to sustain itself on the men that hold the chair of Peter.

One of my favorite stories about Papal Infallibility is related to Pope Sixtus V, who *did *try to promulgate heresy (a self-translated Bible that was horribly innacurate). He fell sick and died mere days before he was to sign the decree making it an official translation.


#8

[quote=Dr. Colossus]One of my favorite stories about Papal Infallibility is related to Pope Sixtus V, who *did *try to promulgate heresy (a self-translated Bible that was horribly innacurate). He fell sick and died mere days before he was to sign the decree making it an official translation.
[/quote]

There is another story in the 5th or 6th century. The story is in one of my Apologetics books, I think Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic. I can’t remember which pope and queen it was but there was a queen who wanted to install her favorite heresy in to the Chuch. She conspired with a man who wanted to be Pope such that if she helped him get in to the office, he would declare the heresy. Well she helped him get in but when he became Pope he found he could not make the declaration. She forced him in to exile and he still would not.

Blessings


#9

Here is the story. It was Pope Vigilus and the Empress Theodora who conspired.

newadvent.org/cathen/15427b.htm

The second successor of Boniface, Agapetus I (535-36), appointed Vigilius papal representative (Apocrisiary) at Constantinople; Vigilius thus came to the Eastern capital. Empress Theodora sought to win him as a confederate, to revenge the deposition of the Monophysite Patriarch Anthimus of Constantinople by Agapetus and also to gain aid for her efforts in behalf of the Monophysites. Vigilius is said to have agreed to the plans of the intriguing empress who promised him the Papal See and a large sum of money (700 pounds of gold). After Agapetus’s death on 22 April, 536, Vigilius return to Rome equipped with letters from the imperial Court and with money. Meanwhile Silverius had been made pope through the influence of the King of the Goths. Soon after this the Byzantine commander Belisarius garrisoned the city of Rome, which was, however, besieged again by the Goths. Vigilius gave Belisarius the letters from the Court of Constantinople, which recommended Vigilius himself for the Papal See. False accusations now led Belisarius to depose Silverius. Owing to the pressure exerted by the Byzantine commander, Vigilius was elected pope in place of Silverius and consecrated and enthroned on 29 March, 537. Vigilius brought it about that the unjustly deposed Silverius was put into his keeping where the late pope soon died from the harsh treatment he received. After the death of this predecessor Vigilius was recognized as pope by all the Roman clergy. Much in these accusations against Vigilius appears to be exaggerated, but the manner of his elevation to the See of Rome was not regular. Empress Theodora, however, saw that she had been deceived. For after the latter had attained the object of his ambition and been made pope he maintained the same position as his predecessor against the Monophysites and the deposed Anthimus.


#10

If this is the best the critics of Papal infallibility can do, then this is a proof for papal infallibility.


#11

[quote=El Católico]If this is the best the critics of Papal infallibility can do, then this is a proof for papal infallibility.
[/quote]

There is a problem here:

Even if his words did not favour heresy, he was condemned for heresy by an Ecumenical Council.

The condemnation was softened into, or interpreted as, a condemnation of him for not extinguishing the flames of error, by one of his successors. IOW, he was still blameworthy, but for what would seem to be lack of energy in opposing heresy, rather than for heresy proper.
And one of these condemnations - I don’t know which -found its way into the Liber Diurnus.

So, we have:

  1. A pope not condemning an error regarding the Wills of Christ, but regarding the controversy as a matter of words
  2. This pope being condemned by an ecumenical council
  3. An ecumenical council
  4. A pope supporting the conciliar condemnation

Popes and Ecumenical Councils are both regarded as infallible - so we seem to have:

  1. An infallible condemnation of a pope who at the very least was, seemingly, not doing his job
  2. This condemnation’s being on the score of heresy
  3. One pope condemning another as, at the least, negligent.

So, either:

Honorius I was not a heretic - so what is to become of the condemnation by an infallible council ?

or

Honorius was rightly condemned for heresy: in which case, what becomes of papal infallibility ?

or

Honorius was unjustly condemned: so what becomes of conciliar infallibility ?

or

That ecumenical council was not infallible at all - so what happens to the dogma that they are infallible ?

or

was not speaking infallibly: in which case, seeing that it was speaking on what is in modern language a “dogmatic fact”, what is it competent to speak on, if not on matters affecting the orthodoxy of persons and of doctrines ?

or

Honorius was rightly condemned for heresy, if by heresy was meant, negligence in opposing it - in which case, there seems to have been a lot of negligence throughout the years. What is infallibility for, if not for condemning errors ? - unless, of course, infallibility is a quality neither of Roman popes nor of ecumenical councils; or, is not acted on by this council or by these popes.

There is also the question of what was construed as heresy in the seventh century in East and West; of what qualified as worthy of condemnation on this score.

With so many ingredients, the problem allows of other possibilities. Those are the ones that come to mind

What is needed is a solution which:

  1. Is in accord with all the ascertained facts
  2. Does not offend any dogmas
  3. Does not involve playing fast and loose with the facts
  4. Does not involve distortion or ignorance of the canon law of that time.
  5. Is agreed - apologists through the years have agreed that these events don’t sabotage Papal or Conciliar infallibility: they have not agreed, whether Honorius was a heretic, or whether he meant to render a decision on the letters he received.

A conclusion - that these infallibilities are undamaged -looks unconvincing when there is no agreement on the theological character of the events which seem to compromise them. It’s hard not to suspect, that the dogma is what matters, and not the reasoning which vindicates it. ##


#12

We’ve had popes who were horrible sinners, and popes who were wonderful saints. But so far as I know, we only had ONE pope who committed the unforgivable sin. He publicly denied Jesus not once, but three times:

Mt 26:69-74 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!” As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!” A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.” At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed.

Yet, even this sin was forgiven and he was reconciled, not once, but three times:

Jn 21:15-17 Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” (Jesus) said to him, "Feed my sheep.


#13

[quote=Gottle of Geer]…Honorius was rightly condemned for heresy, if by heresy was meant, negligence in opposing it
[/quote]

This is the generally agreed upon conclusion of facts in the case.

[quote=Gottle of Geer]… - in which case, there seems to have been a lot of negligence throughout the years.
[/quote]

I’m not sure what you mean? Can you give me some examples?

[quote=Gottle of Geer]… What is infallibility for, if not for condemning errors?.
[/quote]

Well, the promise is “whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth is loosed on heaven.” No one claims the pope is guaranteed infallibility when he* doesn’t* bind and loose. Honorous’ “problem” was he didn’t bind when he should’ve been-a-bindin’. A “problem” sufficient enough to warrant the condemnation by the Council.

Christ’s promise was kept precisely because a heretical teaching wasn’t officially “bound” on the faithful - wasn’t officially defined for the Church. So, the Church was still His.

  • unless, of course, infallibility is a quality neither of Roman popes nor of ecumenical councils; or, is not acted on by this council or by these popes.

Given those options, I would say infallibility was not “acted on” by Pope Honorous I when it should have been. A rough time for the Church indeed - but the Church, as always, prevails. Christ’s promise remains.

For anyone interested, the whole saga is summed up quite well in the online Catholic Encyclopedia here Pope Honorius I. An interesting read.

Peace in Christ,

DustinsDad


#14

Gottle of Geer

"Popes and Ecumenical Councils are both regarded as infallible - so we seem to have:

  1. An infallible condemnation of a pope who at the very least was, seemingly, not doing his job"

You are mistaken. Condemnations are not considered infallible. And not every statement by a Pope or council is infallible. It is best for Non-Catholics not to try applying Catholic theology at home. :slight_smile:

Peace.


#15

Carl Keating’s book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism made one of the clearest examples of Infallibility. If Papal Infallibility included Trigonometry (go with me on this one, please), and the Pope was taking a Trig test with a 100 questions, how many questions would he have to answer correctly to maintain infallibility? Answer: None… if he leaves the answers blank. Infallibility doesn’t mean he knows everything about Trig. It only means that when he answers a question in Trig, it would have to be correct. Similarly (and back to reality), infallibility only means when you teach, you teach correctly. It doesn’t provide supernatural ability to discover the truth. It simply states that what you are teaching, you are teaching infallibly. So when Honorius I was silent on the heresy, he was still infallible! Only if he had spoken Ex Cathedra on the heresy was he subject to the infallibility test.


#16

here is a link regarding the heresy Honorius failed to condemn…

newadvent.org/cathen/10502a.htm

The key part relating to infallibility would be here…

“The letter of Honorius had been a grave document, but not a definition of Faith binding on the whole Church. The Ecthesis was a definition. But Honorius had no cognizance of it, for he had died on 12 Oct. The envoys who came for the emperor’s confirmation of the new Pope Severinus refused to recommend the Ecthesis to the latter, but promised to lay it before him for judgment (see MAXIMUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE). Severinus, not consecrated until May, 640, died two months later, but not without having condemned the Ecthesis. John IV, who succeeded him in December, lost no time in holding a synod to condemn it formally. When Heraclius, who had merely intended to give effect to the teaching of Honorius, heard that the document was rejected at Rome, he disowned it in a letter to John IV, and laid the blame on Sergius. He died Feb., 641. The pope wrote to the elder son of Heraclius, saying that the Ecthesis would doubtless now be withdrawn, and apologizing for Pope Honorius, who had not meant to teach one human will in Christ.”


#17

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